Sunday, July 20, 2014

See That Cloud Over There...

As the great country group Alabama once sang back in 1982..."You see that mountain over there? Yeah?   Well, one of these days I'm gonna climb that mountain". The introduction, wherein an old mountain philosopher speaks about someday climbing a mountain. This Walter Brennan impression was done by Bob Martin, a guitar handler and roadie with the band. Well, today I decided to plug in clouds for mountains.

201253Z 36009G15KT 8SM OVC006 22/21 A3007 RMK AO2 SLP182 T02220211 TSNO

The forecast wasn't looking good for much better cloud cover at KOXB, Ocean City so with a review of the Skew T and all my favorite online wx pages I decided to launch for home.

The typical review for me always includes an out at my departure airport. I had a few if needed for my departure off of runway two. Runway two RNAV is 420', Runway one four RNAV is 700' provided one remains inside the FAF LANDY that requires a minimum of 1500' and you clear the one tower between you and the runway, terrain alert is always a good thing!
Ziva was diggin' that cabin blower!
Mary and I loaded up Ziva and I completed a very detailed pre-flight. I haven't had IMC time since the end of April, ninety days. 08Romeo came to life and we taxied for runway two. Winds were back and forth for runway three two but the windsock still favored two for the majority of time that I watched. I made my call to Washington Clearance Delivery to pick up my IFR release.

C N57
R SBY ENO N57,  Upon entering controlled airspace fly heading 270*
A  3000/5000 in ten
F 127.95 (Pax Approach)
T 3631

After the read back I advised ready for release, number one to go at runway two. I sat for a few minutes and wondered if C/D heard me. I advised once again that I was ready for release and the response was expect 20-30 minute delay for IFR traffic. So, there we sat at the hold short listening to a Debonair, Pilatus and a Cessna land and close their IFR flight plans. The hold was now approaching 35 minutes! I made another call and we were finally given a release.

I had done another quick run up after sitting there leaned out and all checked out fine. I made my call on CTAF and was soon climbing out for the ride home.  I followed the Obstacle Departure Procedure (ODP) for runway two that I had read and reread on my knee board while sitting at the hold short.

Ocean City, MD
Ocean City Muni (OXB)
Take Off Minimums: Rwys 2,32. 400-2 or std.
with minimum climb of 260' per NM to 500.

We were in the scud at 650ish and climbing. I contacted Patuxent Approach as I turned on the 270* course advising one thousand climbing three thousand, two seven zero heading. I road along for a bit when Pax acknowledged radar contact turning me direct ENO (Smyrna).

This is where the rust started to show. I initiated the plan change on the Garmin 530 and started to take the plane with me as I reached to select ENO followed by the Enter. I immediately noticed the engine rpm's pick up and my scan tells me I am starting to bank right and descending. Wings level, nose up and get on the new course, thankfully to my right. We were flying in the clag and Mary gave me the look, I said shaking off some rust...she nodded acknowledgement and seemed to settle in for her typical nap, Ziva was already comatose.
On top
The remainder of the flight was perfect. It felt great getting in the system and doing all that IFR pilot stuff (as Mary calls it). Dover amended my route adding DQO so that was a simple add to the flight plan on the 530 and I didn't take the plane with me. We did break out between 4.0 and 4.5 running the tops for a very short bit then clear on top at 5.0. The cloud layer opened wide at the C&D canal and I could see all the way to my destination with only a puffy cotton ball or two along the way.  Dover handed me to Philly and this controller was busy.  I was handed off to another sector as I was approaching the new outside Class B box and skirting along Wilmington's Class Delta space at 4.0.  I was given 3.0 by the new sector and I road along for a very short time then cancelled, the controller said "I like it quick and easy". I thanked him and switched to CTAF at New Garden.
Here comes the sun as we break out of the scud
I crossed midfield, south to north at 2.0 and entered the left down wind for runway six. Nice and easy, good speed followed by rolling it on the runway, it felt good.  Mary helped me push back in the hangar so I take it easy on my back. I cleaned off all the leading edges, ran the shop vac to clean the carpets and used the leather spray on the seats.  08Romeo was tucked in for her week long slumber until we return next Friday.


Steve said...

Glad to see you're still putting the IR to good use. Sure can't beat having that tool in your back pocket when you need to get somewhere. Within reason, of course!

Small planes and all that. :)

Gary said...

It really helps getting in and out of OXB.

Anymore I feel like a bus driver making the same run every weekend. I hope once the north house sells and I retire Mary and I can get away for some much needed vacation time.

Steve said...

I can imagine. On the other hand, you're still sitting on far more hours than me this year!

It doesn't feel like I've barely flown, but the logbook tells a different story. Of course, being able to knock out 3 landings in 0.3 at Stewart does help trade flight frequency for total hours to some extent.